If the CFL is serious about bringing a sustainable Ottawa franchise into the league while ensuring that the franchise holder is in it for the long term rather than the quick dollar, maybe they could propose something like this to the ownership group lead by Bill Palmer:
The Ottawa ownership group pays the initial $3.5 million expansion fee rather than the recently elevated $5 million expansion fee
For the first three years, the Ottawa franchise receives 70% of that team's share of the CFL's new television contract revenue and the remaining 30% of the television revenue is placed in a trust account
a) If the Ottawa club is still a functioning CFL franchise in good standing at the end of the three year period, the 30% television revenue held in trust over that three year period is paid to the Ottawa franchise, or
b) If the Ottawa club is not a functioning CFL franchise in good standing at the end of the three year period, the 30% television revenue held in trust over that three year period is distributed equally in nine shares (1 share to the CFL and 1 share to each of the other 8 CFL teams)
If the Ottawa club is a functioning franchise at the beginning of the fourth season, it begins to receive its full share of the new television contract revenue.
A proposal along these lines can accomplish a few objectives:
a) it gets a team back into Ottawa with a reasonably sound ownership group;
b) it provides a strong message to Ottawa CFL football fans that the CFL has not abandoned the concept of returning to Ottawa;
b) it provides a strong incentive to the Ottawa ownership to be a functioning franchise in good standing for at least three years;
c) it gives the CFL a larger television market than it would have without Ottawa;
d) it provides the CFL with some level of security in the event that the Ottawa franchise is not a functioning franchise at the end of the three year period;
e) each passing year that Frank Clair Stadium is not operating as a football stadium brings it a step closer to demolition and, if that happens, the CFL might not be able to return to Ottawa for a very long time.
If the CFL felt that the ownership group fronted by Bill Palmer was solid enough that they dismissed the competing bid by Frank D'Angelo a month or so ago, perhaps the league should take one more shot at seeing whether the Palmer group would accept some form of modified expansion fee/revenue proposal before they go their separate ways.